Ukrainian Guest information hub

Council translation and interpreting

На цій сторінці ви знайдете корисну інформацію, але якщо вам потрібна будь-яка підтримка, пишіть на мейл duty.communities@scambs.gov.uk або телефонуйте 01954 713 070.

Щоб перекласти іншу інформацію на цій сторінці українською мовою, ви можете використати сайт Google Translate:

  • У вашому браузері, зайдіть на сайт Google Translate
  • Вгорі сторінки, натисніть на ‘Websites’.
  • Ми рекомендуємо залишити мову оригіналу, натиснувши на опцію 'Detect language'.
  • У полі 'Website', введіть адресу сайту (URL)
  • Натисніть ‘Go’.

There is information on this page which should be useful, but if you need any support, you can email duty.communities@scambs.gov.uk or call 01954 713 070.

To translate the rest of the information on this page into Ukrainian, you should be able to use Google Translate:

  • In your browser, go to Google Translate.
  • At the top, click Websites.
  • We recommend setting the original language to 'Detect language'.
  • In the 'Website', enter a URL.
  • Click Go.

Welcome to South Cambridgeshire

South Cambridgeshire is in the southern 'corner' of the county of Cambridgeshire, and the district of South Cambridgeshire surrounds the city of Cambridge on all sides. South Cambridgeshire is made up of 103 villages and two towns, and is a district with beautiful rural landscapes and friendly village High Streets.

Each village or town will have plenty on offer in terms of things to do and communities to be part of. One of the best places to find information about what is going in on your new village or town is to contact your parish council

If you would like to find more ideas for things to do in South Cambridgeshire, your host is likely to be able to make some local recommendations. But for a wider list of local attractions, parks or walking routes to explore, or somewhere to go for a meal, please take a look at our Visit South Cambs website

Cambridge4Ukraine

Cambridge4Ukraine - волонтерська ініціатива, заснована українською спільнотою в Кембриджі.

Cambridge4Ukraine is a volunteer initiative set up by Ukrainians in Cambridge, which is helping to match sponsors with those fleeing Ukraine as well as providing support to arrivals from Ukraine.

Ukrainian meetups / Українські зустрічі

Ініціатива Cambridge4Ukraine запрошує всіх, хто покинули свій дім в Україні і приїхали до Кембриджа і регіону, на українську кав'ярню. Ці зустрічі - для української спільноти і всіх новоприбулих, щоб ми могли познайомитися, поділитися важливою інформацією і підтримати одне одного. Зустрічі проходять у кав'ярні в церкві Downing Place URC (Downing St., Cambridge CB2 3EL), щосуботи о 12. Про будь-які зміни ми повідомлятимемо в соцмережах Cambridge4Ukraine (Twitter Cambridge4Ukr, Instagram @cambridge4ukraine). Приєднуйтесь!

Зустрічі організовуються ініціативою Cambridge4Ukraine, у співпраці з Українським товариством Кембриджського університету.

If you know people from Ukraine who recently came to or live in Cambridgeshire, please share this info with them! The Cambridge4Ukraine initiative invites all people who had to leave their homes in Ukraine and move to Cambridgeshire because of the war to visit our Ukraininian coffee and conversation meetings. These meetings are for the local Ukrainian community and all new arrivals, so that we can meet, share important information and support each other. Meetings will take place in the Downing Place United Reformed Church cafeteria space (Downing St., Cambridge CB2 3EL) every Saturday at 12pm. Any changes will be communicated via Cambridge4Ukraine social networks (Twitter Cambridge4Ukr, Instagram @cambridge4ukraine). Join us! The meetings are organised by Cambridge4Ukraine initiative, in collaboration with Cambridge University Ukrainian Society.

Access to services

As a guests arriving from the UK under the recent Government schemes, you will be able to live and work in the UK for up to three years and access healthcare, benefits, employment support, education, and English language tuition. Please see some useful links below.

If the information you need is not listed below, please email duty.communities@scambs.gov.uk 

Mental health and emotional support

NHS

Mental health problems range from the worries we all experience as part of everyday life to serious long-term conditions. We understand that you have been through a very traumatic time and been exposed to a huge mental stress. There are Mental Health Services available that can help you if you are struggling. If you, or someone you love, need help this is best arranged through making an appointment with your GP (more information about how to do this is listed below under 'Physical health: Free access to NHS healthcare').

Barnardo's

Barnardo’s has set up a Ukrainian Support Helpline to provide a holistic support service to anyone fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. Barnardo’s free helpline (0800 148 8586) is staffed by English, Ukrainian and Russian speakers, to offer support to children and families arriving in the UK from Ukraine. The helpline is open Monday to Friday (10am to 8pm) and Saturday (10am to 3pm). Callers will be able to get help and advice on a range of issues. You can also email the team or find out more on the Barnado’s website

Refugee Council

Refugee Council is offering:

  • One-to-one counselling – a confidential space for you to feel safe and share your worries with a trained counsellor (in person and online options available). An interpreter can also be provided if you would like to talk in your own language.
  • Group counselling – meeting new people, building connections, sharing experiences.
  • Group outings – creating positive memories and getting to know your local area.

Find out more by emailing ww4ri@refugeecouncil.org.uk or telephone 07436 309 103.

British Red Cross

It is common to feel a lot of different emotions after leaving your homeland. The British Red Cross can support you, with help in more than 200 languages. It helps people who are lonely, worried and finding it hard to get the help they need in the UK. It also offers support to find missing family members in Ukraine. 

Call them on 0808 196 3651 (open daily 10am - 6pm) and you can ask for an interpreter if you need one. 
If you are feeling very distressed, call The Samaritans on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org

There is much more information from the British Red Cross on the website, including downloadable guides on 'Coping with trauma' for adults and children, and 'Coping with a personal crisis' - which are also available in Ukrainian.  [PDF?LA=EN&HASH=34B564AE3A3113881309F2DCF733AD73006E2FAE]

Physical health: free access to NHS healthcare

Ukrainian refugees will be guaranteed free access to NHS healthcare on a similar basis as other UK residents – including, for instance, the offer of COVID-19 vaccines and medical screenings. This covers any NHS treatment that started on or after 24 February (the date the full-scale Russian invasion began). This includes NHS dentistry. New arrivals should register in the same way as resident citizens.

Guests can contact Healthwatch Cambridgeshire if they feel that they are being denied the ability to access healthcare. The number to call is 0330 355 1285.

Registering with a doctor – a general practitioner (GP)

A general practitioner, commonly known as a GP, is the first doctor you will usually visit for routine health problems in the UK. A GP can offer medical advice, provide a diagnosis and prescribe medicines. They might be your first point of contact for many physical and mental health concerns. The GP practice is also responsible for coordinating and managing your long-term healthcare and they can refer you if you need more specialised hospital services.

Everyone has a right to register with a GP and you do not need proof of address, immigration status, ID or an NHS number (you may be asked to provide ID but it is not a requirement). We strongly recommend that you register with a GP as soon as possible after you arrive. You can also register temporarily if you expect to be in an area for more than 24 hours but less than 3 months. If you have ID this can help make sure your name is spelled correctly in your NHS records.

To find your nearest GP service and for more information please visit this NHS webpage on registering with a GP

Pharmacies and Minor Injury Units

If you are unwell there are range of different services you can use locally. Local pharmacies can offer advice on a range of common conditions, including coughs, colds, hay fever, skin conditions and stomach upsets. There are Minor Injury Units in Doddington and Wisbech which can help with a range of minor illnesses and injuries such as sprains, broken bones, minor burns and scalds, minor head and eye injuries, bites and stings. You can find opening times and addresses online here.   

In an emergency

If you or a family member has a serious accident or a sudden serious illness you should go to your nearest hospital with an Accident and Emergency department. Emergency treatment at Accident and Emergency services at NHS hospitals is free for everyone.

If it is an extreme emergency, call 999 or 112 and ask for an ambulance to transport you to a hospital. This service is free of charge but should only be used in an emergency. If you are able to do so, you may also make your own way to the Accident and Emergency department.

You can find out more information on when to call 999

Accessing medication

Most GP practices are not co-located with a pharmacy. If your GP wants you to take a particular medication, he or she will provide you with a prescription that you will need to take to your local pharmacy or chemist. The GP surgery will be able to advise you about where you should go to collect your medicine. You can also find information about the location of local pharmacies online.

There is normally a small charge for prescriptions, which you will be asked to pay when you collect your medication at the pharmacy. However, prescriptions are provided free of charge if you meet certain requirements. There is some variation in what prescriptions are provided depending on where in the UK you are living, but in general, your prescription will be free if you are:

  • age 60 or over
  • age 16 or under
  • age 16 to 18 and in full-time education
  • pregnant (or have had a baby in the previous 12 months)
  • an inpatient receiving care in an NHS hospital

This list is not exhaustive; free prescriptions may also be available if you have certain specified medical conditions or a continuing physical disability. If you think this may apply to you, you should ask your GP who will be able to provide you with advice. 

Some very common medications, such as painkillers and cough medicines, are available for sale over the counter. You will not need a prescription for these types of medication, but you will have to pay for them yourself.

Maternity care and services

You will be offered free care when you are pregnant and after you give birth. This is likely to be arranged through your GP. Maternity services cover care from the beginning of pregnancy through to sign off by a midwife: this is usually around 10 days after the birth but can be up to six weeks postnatally. Midwives ensure that personalised care is provided throughout pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period. Much of this care will be provided directly by midwives, who will also coordinate the provision of obstetric or other medical involvement if necessary.

You should contact a GP or midwife as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. It’s important to see a midwife or GP as early as possible to get the pregnancy (antenatal) care and information you need to have a healthy pregnancy.

You are also entitled to support from a health visitor. A health visitor is a qualified nurse or midwife who has had extra training. They’re there to help you, your family and children up to the age of five to stay healthy.

Information on all you need to know about pregnancy, labour, birth and NHS maternity services can be found on the NHS website.

Health visitors and school nursing

If you have a child under the age of 19 you can ask for health advice from a health visitor or school nurse. Please telephone: 03000 295 050. Or send a text message to: 07520 649 887

Find further information on the Healthy Child Programme

Dental care

You are entitled to NHS dental care to help keep your mouth, teeth and gums free of pain. If your tooth is painful you should call NHS 111 for Urgent Dental Care Services.

You can search for local dentists and ask to register for an appointment. NHS dentistry is only free by exemption (for example, if you are aged under 18 or in receipt of low income benefits). Costs for dental appointments depend on what treatment you are having. Search for a dentist online - you can find a breakdown of costs here

Eye care

You can make an appointment with any high street optician to have an eyesight test or get help with your glasses or contact lenses. There may be costs unless you are eligible for a free NHS eyesight test or optical vouchers.

Coronavirus testing

For the latest guidance on what to do if you have or suspect you have the virus, please visit the UK Government’s COVID-19 advice webpage.

The UK Health Security Agency has added Ukrainian translations to the guidance on COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test kit instructions

Coronavirus vaccines

The majority of people in the UK have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine and it is likely that all adults in your host's household will have received theirs. 

You are eligible for a free COVID-19 vaccination through the NHS. If you are registered with a GP, you can book your vaccination through this web link

‘Walk in’ sites are also available and able to offer help to those who have not yet registered with a GP. View this list of local locations for walk-in clinics. Patients who walk in for their vaccination do not need to bring ID and do not require an NHS number.

People who have had one or more doses abroad are usually expected to bring proof of these vaccinations to the vaccination clinic in order to evidence which doses they are now due to receive. However, we understand that many Ukrainian individuals may not have been able to bring proof of their previous vaccinations with them. If a person who has recently arrived from Ukraine cannot produce proof of their previous vaccinations, the vaccinating team will be able to restart their vaccination course. This means that they’ll receive a first, second and booster dose(s) as appropriate in the UK. If a Ukrainian individual does have proof of their previous vaccinations we would ask them to bring this to the vaccination site so they can continue their vaccination course.

A guide for parents about the education system in England

There is guidance available from The Bell Foundation for parents on how to get involved in school life and to help their child to learn. There are guides covering several useful topics, covering topics such as primary and secondary schools. These guides are in a number of languages including Ukrainian and Russian.

School places

Children of families who come to the UK under the Government schemes are entitled to a school place. In England you are required to ensure that any of your children aged five to 16 receive a full-time education. Children will normally begin to attend school, full-time, in the September after their fourth birthday but you have the option of taking up a place part-time until the start of the term immediately after the child turns five.

Alternatively you can keep your child at home or in nursery while they are four and apply for your child to start school from the start of the term following their fifth birthday – although your choice of school may be more limited. It is likely, at least in your first year, that you will need to apply for ‘in-year’ admissions.

Cambridgeshire County Council is responsible for education in Cambridgeshire. Please visit the Cambridgeshire County Council website for information on how to apply for a school place for your child

Anyone who is encountering problems finding school places can email the admissions team: SPOS.Admissions@cambridgeshire.gov.uk 

Early Years and Childcare information

In England, early years care and education is not compulsory but is available for all children up to the age of five, including children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND). Play provision is also available through breakfast clubs, after school clubs and school holiday play schemes. Most provision is privately run by businesses or charities and are registered and regulated.

As a parent or carer, it is your choice if you want your child to attend one of these provisions and it is up to you to decide which type will best meet your needs.

Early years education in England follows a play-based approach and you can expect your child to spend their time becoming involved in lots of different play activities inside and outside. All early years provision follows government guidance which includes regulations about things like:

  • staff numbers and qualifications
  • how to keep children safe
  • the curriculum that is followed. 

Types of provision

Day Nursery. Usually open from 8am to 6pm all year (excluding bank holidays). They take children from zero to five years and may offer care for older children in the school holiday or after the school day is over. Meals and snacks are usually included in the fee.

Pre-school. Usually open from 9am to 3pm in school term time. They usually take children between two to five years and will offer morning, afternoon, or sometimes full day sessions. Meals are not normally included and so you might be asked to provide a packed lunch for your child if they stay all day.

Childminder. Registered childminders are self-employed childcare professionals who work in their own homes caring for other people’s children. They care for small numbers of children in their home-setting and will often care for a range of ages. Childminders can be flexible and offer patterns of childcare to support many families. Just like other provision, childminders are regulated and inspected. Some childminders can offer funded early education sessions for two, three and four-year-olds.

After School and School Holiday Clubs. Usually open between 3:30pm and 6pm and are often situated on a school site. There will be a fee for your child to attend which usually includes snacks and drinks. You can ask for details at the school your child goes to.

Cambridgeshire Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme. The HAF programme offers funded places to school age children (four to 16 years) during the Easter, Summer, and Christmas school holidays. Transport to the schemes can be arranged if it is needed. There are many holiday schemes to choose from which all offer children the chance to play with other children, take part in a variety of fun activities, sports or drama and eat a healthy meal. Each scheme will have adults present who are trained to work with and support children.

To find out if you are eligible and for more information, please email the HAF Team at HAF@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

How to find early years or childcare provision for your child

Check the Cambridgeshire County Council Directory of Services or phone 0345 045 1360.

How is childcare funded?

Every three-year-old can attend an early years provision for 15 hours a week starting in the school term after their third birthday. This is fully funded by the Government.

Depending on your financial circumstances your child may also be eligible for:

  • 15 hours of early years funding from the school term after their second birthday
  • 30 hours of early years funding from the school term after their third birthday

Check what funding your child could be eligible for.

Children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND)

Early Years providers often support children with SEND and may be able to apply for additional funding to help your child. If your child has SEND and you would like advice about early years provision, please contact ey.send@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.

Summer Holiday Activities and Food programme: Ukrainian guests eligible

Cambridgeshire County Council have asked us to help publicise their summer holiday activities and food (HAF) programme, which is funded by the Department for Education. They have nearly 3,000 free holiday scheme places available with over 130 providers across the county. Families in receipt of income-related free school meals can access up to 64 hours of provision per child and each will receive a meal as well. They have also opened their eligibility to Ukrainian and other refugee families. Further details about the programme can be found online. There is also a Parent Summer Poster which outlines what is on offer.

Please email HAF@cambridgeshire.gov.uk if you have any questions.

Opening a bank account in the UK

To open a bank account in the UK, you usually need proof of permanent address. NatWest and RBS are now advising that for guests from Ukraine, this requirement for proof of permanent address may not be necessary – especially where a visa can be presented instead. We understand from local hosts that Lloyds will accept a letter of authority from hosts for guests who do not otherwise have the required evidence. Other banks are advising that they have colleagues ready to help new arrivals (such as HSBC and Santander). There is no expectation of guests to have set up a UK bank account prior to their arrival in the UK, but it would be a good idea to set up a bank account as soon as you can after arrival, once you are settled in.

Payments to guests increased from £200 to £350

The Government scheme provides £200 per guest as a one-off payment to help with essential costs as guest arrive. However, Government guidance gives flexibility to local authorities to decide what additional support may be needed. Hosts and guests in our district have fed back that guests are running out of money in their first month while longer-term arrangements are being established (whether that is applying for Universal Credit or finding work, both of which can have a lead-in time of a number of weeks before an initial payment is made).

In response to this feedback, the Council is adding a further £150 payment to each guest – totalling £350 per guest.

Hosts whose guests have received the previous £200 payment have been emailed with information about how guests can access a £150 topup. Guests who have not yet received the historical £200 payment will automatically receive the new amount of £350. If you have an urgent question about this payment, please contact ukrainepayments@scambs.gov.uk

Using our pre-payment cards

Once guests have arrived, you will receive a pre-paid card from us with the initial one-off £350 payment to help with essential costs. Please note that you will need to activate your card in a situation where a PIN is needed – for instance in a supermarket – so that it can be used thereafter for contactless payments in places such as on public transport where PIN verification is not always available. Full information about how to activate your card and check your balance will be sent to you at the same time as the pre-paid card is sent. 

Benefits 

Guests will be able to access Benefits on a similar basis as other UK residents. You can find out more about Universal Credit on the Government’s website. Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help with living costs, which you may be eligible for if you are on a low income, out of work, or cannot work. Guests will also be eligible for benefits such as Carer's Allowance, Child Benefit, Disability Benefits and Pension Credit. 

Guests are entitled to claim Child Benefit immediately (rather than having to wait for the usual 3-month qualifying period). People who wish to claim should complete a CH2 Child Benefit claim form and submit this by post to the Child Benefit office. The address is included on the form. You will need to provide an original birth certificate and the passport or travel document used to enter the UK. Where this documentation is not immediately available, people are advised to include a note in their claim and someone from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will be in touch to discuss further. Anyone wanting more information on Child Benefit can visit GOV.UK or call 0300 200 3100 (from inside the UK).

Free School Meals

Cambridgeshire County Council has shared an application form that eligible guest families can use to apply for temporary entitlement to Free School meals and Holiday Vouchers [DOCX]. This is different to application forms that are on Cambridgeshire County Council’s Free School Meals webpages; the form linked here allows for parents or carers to apply who have submitted a Universal Credit application but who do not yet have a National Insurance (NI) number.

Map of local food banks and food hubs 

Your hosts may wish to support you with food and other essentials, but they are not required to do so. If you do not have food or other essentials provided and do not have access to money to buy what you need, please visit our Foodbank and Food Hubs webpages. This shows a map of different types of foodbanks or food hubs in the area. Foodbanks and Food Hubs exist across the country, and many offer other essentials as well as food. Some Foodbanks will require a voucher - if you need a voucher to visit the local Foodbank, please email duty.communities@scambs.gov.uk and our colleagues can provide you with a voucher.  

Cambridgeshire Local Assistance Scheme

The Cambridgeshire Local Assistance Scheme (Cambridgeshire County Council) could support you with access to low cost reused and refurbished household items, clothing and food vouchers. Please contact clas@cambridgecab.org.uk for further information.

Housing costs 

If you are a guest and you, or your family, can’t afford to pay rent (although please note host accommodation providers via the Homes for Ukraine scheme should not be charging any rent), you can apply for assistance with housing costs via Universal Credit. This can take up to six weeks to come through and might not cover all of the rent. Our Housing Advice team can work with you to support you to remain with family or to secure alternative accommodation. If help is needed to pay a rent deposit, or rent in advance, contact our Housing Advice team. 

Help if you are at risk of homelessness 

If you are a guest from Ukraine and you have arrived in the UK, but you are now at risk of becoming homeless – for instance if the relationship between you and your host has broken down – it is important to act as soon as possible. Please contact our team. Additionally, if you are already homeless, please contact our team for advice and support.

Laptops for guests

We have partnered with the Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign (CRRC) and provided them with funding that will allow them to supply further laptops to Ukrainian guests who have arrived in South Cambridgeshire as part of the Homes for Ukraine programme. Guests can now apply for one of these laptops, for free, and, additionally, we are also looking for residents and businesses to support this initiative by donating laptops. Any devices are acceptable for donation.

The Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign works with Laptops4Learning (L4L) to deliver laptops locally. Laptops4Learning’s TechAidUK solution brings together businesses and charities/organisations to enable sustainable and social good. They take donations of much-needed devices from businesses and repair and refurbish them, making them plug-and-play ready, complete with chargers and software, ready for CRRC to distribute them to Ukrainian families. For both residents and businesses, having tech refurbished for reuse enables you to reach your sustainability goals at this time of climate emergency, saving CO2 emissions, e-waste and the extraction of scarce natural resources.

How guests can apply for a free laptop: CRRC will use our funding to provide laptops, chromebooks, mobile phones and SIM cards to Ukrainians who have arrived in South Cambridgeshire under the Homes for Ukraine and need devices to facilitate access to services, education, learning English, job seeking and communication with family members and friends. To request a laptop, either the guest or their host should complete this Google Form. Please note that guests should only apply when they arrive in South Cambridgeshire. If the host is applying on behalf of the guest, similarly, they should not apply until their guest has arrived with them. Completed forms are submitted and information provided to CRRC. The information from the form is only available to CRRC’s Ukraine Team admin and a limited number of CRRC Trustees. A designated CRRC trustee looks at each request and assesses it. For example, they will look at the numbers of devices requested in relation to what is already owned, and the size of the family including the ages of the children. If CRRC has questions about the request, one of their Ukraine Team admins will call the designated main contact to discuss. 

Once any queries are worked through the request is authorised and is then ready to join the ‘ready for delivery’ list.  CRRC have set themselves the ambitious target of aiming to deliver the requested tech within two weeks of the items being requested (when a form is submitted it automatically generates a time and date stamp). CRRC has recruited and ‘onboarded’ 10 volunteers to undertake deliveries within the county. All volunteers are DBS checked prior to being allowed to have direct contact with families. When items are delivered to the families, we ask the family to sign a receipt which contains the details of the items being provided including make and model and serial numbers of the devices.  Signed receipts are returned to our Team admin and stored as proof of delivery and receipt.

How residents can donate laptops: For individuals wanting to donate laptops, CRRC currently have three pubs where devices can be dropped off. These are The Blue Ball Inn in Grantchester, The Haymakers in Chesterton or the Champion of the Thames in King Street, Cambridge. All laptops supplied would have data erased to the Government standard.

How businesses can donate laptops:  For corporate donations www.Laptops4Learning.co.uk will send their Tech Couriers to the company by prior arrangement. L4L tech couriers will bring the devices back to their repair centre based in Stevenage. The devices will be repaired / refurbished/ securely data erased to HMG InfoSec Standard 5 Enhanced and a certificate of erase provided by serial number for each device. Audits are provided in full showing the devices collected, along with feedback on who received the donations for use in Company newsletters and data for the CSR, sustainability figures on waste are also provided. If you are part of a local business that wants to donate laptops for re-use to those in need or if you have questions and would like information on the scheme please contact sue@laptops4learning.co.uk or Admin_TeamUkraine@cambridgerefugees.org

Furniture

The Besom in Histon & Impington can help with sourcing and supplying furniture, equipment and household items as well as with other practical hands-on support. 

Jobs

The Odessa Project, set up by the owner of the Willow Tree pub in Bourn, has been established to help Ukrainian guests find employment in the catering industry locally and nationwide. 

Free travel to your host's house

Your host may be able to help you travel to their home. If not, guests across the country are eligible for one free journey using trains, buses or coaches to travel to your host's home. You will only need to show your Ukrainian passport and boarding pass, or ticket showing arrival into the country within the last 48 hours. For more information see the Ukrainian Displaced Persons Travel Scheme.

Bus travel (updated on Thursday 23 June 2022)

When we are informed about a guest’s arrival, they are now being provided with tickets that entitle them to 10 days of unlimited bus travel. The tickets will be sent alongside their arrival payment. These bus tickets do not need to be used in 10 consecutive days in a row. Instead, guests are being provided with 10 separate tickets that they can use on any day that they choose. They are valid for travel in the Stagecoach Cambridgeshire zone. The aim is to encourage guests to get out and about, whether it’s to get to know the area, to seek help and advice or to look for work.

For guests who are already here we are, this week, starting the process of sending their tickets out to them. We anticipate that all existing guests should have received their tickets in the post by the end of next week (Friday 1 July) and if your guest has not received them by then, please email ukrainepayments@scambs.gov.uk. Please do not contact us to request an update before Friday 1 July, because will not be able to give any further information until then.

Please note that these arrangements will be reviewed at the end of the year.

Free bicycles for guests from Ukraine

Guests can complete a short online form to request a free, good quality second-hand bicycle as part of a collaboration between the District Council and local charities OWL Bikes and Camtrust. Helmets and locks will also be supplied free of charge and the Council will also provide guests with details of a free Bikeability cycle training course, which will include a translator.

OWL Bikes, part of the Papworth Trust, offers quality refurbished bikes for sale - while offering work and training opportunities for local disabled people. Impington-based Camtrust specialises in life and work skills for adults with physical disabilities and learning difficulties. The charity also runs a bicycle refurbishment programme where donated bikes are refurbished by a small team of staff and clients and sold at affordable prices. Camtrust also offers bike servicing.

Once a guest applies for a bike and the Council has confirmed they are eligible, they will be put in touch with the supplier nearest to them so that they can arrange to collect their bicycle. Where no transport is immediately available for hosts to collect bikes, such as if the host family has no car, a community group may be able to assist. The Council can help link hosts and guests through to their local community group and District Councillors if needed. Guests or hosts can ask for this support, and raise any further queries or concerns around bicycle collection, by emailing duty.communities@scambs.gov.uk

As demand has been high, delivery is taking a little while longer than planned. If you or your guests have already applied, please rest assured that your application has been received and there is no need to apply again. Additionally, unfortunately the Owl Bikes facility was broken into during a recent weekend, which set-back the number of bicycles they have available to distribute a little. Please note that this scheme is only available to guests who have arrived in South Cambridgeshire as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Additionally, the CTC Cambridge cycling club are starting a scheme whereby experienced riders within the group can buddy up with Ukrainian guests, to help them become more familiar with the area and its roads and cycleways and to make the most of their new bikes. Email secretary@ctccambridge.org.uk if your guests would like to take advantage of this offer.

Via Cycling UK, there is also the offer of a free 12-month digital-only Cycling UK membership to Ukrainian refugees. The offer is currently only available to Ukrainian refugees referred by Cycling UK member groups – such as CTC Cambridge. You can email membership@cyclinguk.org or call 01483 238 301 if you have questions.

Library membership (free)

Joining the library is free (no proof of address is needed). Cambridgeshire libraries are encouraging guests from Ukraine to visit the library to find a place where you can connect with other local people, and use their computers and WiFi to connect with loved ones online. You can use the library to:

  • Use study spaces, WiFi, computers and printers
  • Browse books and borrow up to 12 items at a time
  • Read eNewspapers in many languages
  • Come to library events
  • Join a reading group
  • Join free story times and rhyme-times for children and their parents/carers.

You can join the library free online.

How can I access English Language tuition?

Cambridge Regional College offers free English lessons for people who don’t speak English as a first language. There are different levels available and you should check which level is going to be most suitable.

A charity called Workers' Educational Association (WEA) offers free English lessons for people who don’t speak English as a first language. Waiting lists may apply. 

There are a number of English courses available through the Cambridgeshire Skills website – you can search for ‘ESOL’ courses in the search field. For further information email cambsals@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

CamRuss is supporting Ukrainian guests and hosts in Cambridge and the surrounding area, and on the CamRuss website guests can complete a form to request free English language and cultural adaptation sessions.

Employment support 

The Government has confirmed that Ukrainian guests are eligible to work in the UK for up to three years. The Job Centre Plus (JCP) is working to match new arrivals from Ukraine who want to work with offers of employment in the local area. 

Both the Department for Work and Pensions and Citizens Advice can help with completing forms for processes such as setting up a bank account, understanding entitlements to benefits, and so on. The Department for Work and Pensions has also appointed 'vulnerable coaches' to support applicants.

We are awaiting further information on assistance for arrivals from Ukraine who are entrepreneurs and business owners who wish to set up small businesses in the UK; we will provide a link to further information for people in this situation when this is available. 

Cambridge4Ukraine has also set up a small sub-group to offer support in finding work to people arriving from Ukraine. For further information please email jobs.help@cambridge4ukraine.uk

The Odessa Project, set up by the owner of the Willow Tree in Bourn, has been set up to help Ukrainian guests find employment in the catering industry locally and nationwide. 

I am concerned about my own, or someone else's, safety

During your stay we expect you to be treated at all times with kindness and respect. However we would like to highlight that should you experience any harassment or unwanted behaviours that cause you to feel concerned or uncomfortable then there is help available.

Any inappropriate behaviours that make you feel unsafe are completely unacceptable and you do not have to tolerate them.

These may include:

  • Attempts to limit your freedom
  • Asking you to participate in any activities that make you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable
  • Unwanted comments, harassment or advances of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment is unlawful.
  • Controlling behaviours, which are: a range of acts designed to make a person dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.
  • Coercive behaviours, which are: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten.
  • Emotional abuse – insults, threats of harm
  • Physical abuse – hitting, or harming in any way physically
  • Sexual abuse – any unwanted sexual advances
  • Financial abuse – exploiting your resources such as money

In an emergency always dial 999, or you can report to the police via the non-emergency number 101.

The following organisations can offer support. 

National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247

Rape Crisis: 0808 802 9999 

Cambridge Rape Crisis: 01223 313551

What do I do if I am worried about an adult?

All adults have the right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. If you are concerned about an adult in a family you are hosting you can contact Cambridgeshire County Council by:

  • Completing an online form 
  • Telephoning 0345 045 5202, 8am to 6pm weekdays, 9am to 1pm Saturday
  • Outside office hours, if someone is in danger and unable to protect themselves, or cannot remain in the community without immediate intervention, telephone: 01733 234 724
  • If you feel that a person(s) or property is in immediate danger, call 999

What do I do if I am worried about a child?

We all have a responsibility to help keep children safe. If you are concerned about a child in a family you are hosting, you can contact Cambridgeshire County Council by:

  • Completing an online form
  • Telephoning 0345 045 5203 8am to 6pm weekdays, 9am to 1pm Saturday
  • Outside office hours, if you are concerned that a child or family requires emergency safeguarding and/ or support, telephone: 01733 234 724
  • If you feel that a person(s) or property is in immediate danger, call 999

Ukrainians Welcome website

You may find it useful to review information on the Ukrainians Welcome website. There is a guide to staying safe in the UK. Ukrainians Welcome is a joint initiative of British organizations fighting slavery and human rights. Its aim is to provide useful information on security and life in general for displaced Ukrainians in the UK. The site is funded by the Freedom Fund.

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